I spent the summer working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center here in New York, researching and creating service design concepts around the the information needs of patients. It was incredibly interesting and fulfilling work, and, coming from a screen based background, a welcome immersion into the world of spaces and people. And doing work that felt like it was helping actual people. But it was also emotionally taxing. To say it got heavy a few times, speaking to the very ill and their concerned and stressed caretakers, is an understatement. Speaking to those who are very ill or dying makes you start to rethink what you prioritize in your life.
Music, then, became my lifeline. I had a friend in town who studies music and culture as an ethnomusicologist, and I ended up tagging along with her as she explored these tiny communities that spring up around Irish music sessions in the East Village, and little gypsy music bars. I didn't know it at the time, but this was going to come back later.
It was with all this in my head that I started the second year of this grad program, with not a whole lot of clue about what I wanted to make.